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Offshore Wind Farms Could Power 37 Million Homes by 2020

Global offshore wind farm capacity could grow at a compound annual rate of 32% over the course of the next decade, according to a new report by energy consulting firm ODS-Petrodata.

The International Offshore Wind Market to 2020 report predicts that by the end of 2020 global offshore wind farm capacity will have soared to 55 gigawatts (GW). Current installed capacity is under 2 GW.

Based on an analysis of more than 700 projects and prospects in the company's database, ODS-Petrodata forecasts US $61.4 billion of capital expenditure in the sector between now and 2014. For 2016 to 2020, total capital expenditure could be double that.

"Although the credit crisis and other constraints have tempered the market, there is clearly a huge business opportunity here," says David Gault, Renewables Manager at ODS-Petrodata. "These are big industrial projects, and it will take lots of equipment, manpower and innovation to get them built. Now is a great time for companies in other sectors, such as offshore oil and gas, to assess whether they can grab a piece of the action."

Bottlenecks in the supply chain are already being relieved by new entrants the report says. Several emerging European manufacturers of offshore-rated turbines will challenge the dominance of Siemens and Vestas in the next few years, and will later be joined by a batch of Asian manufacturers, including South Korean conglomerates such as Hyundai Heavy Industries and as many as 10 Chinese firms.

The UK currently leads the way for both installed capacity and projects under construction, but it may experience a lull in activity in 2013 and 2014. Germany will more than take up the slack, and will go on to become the industry's power house from 2014 onwards. China and the U.S. will also be very significant players in the longer term.

For more details about the report, click here.

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